"American Genesis"

1 minute read

I saw a reference to this new book by Jeffrey Moran: American Genesis: The Evolution Controversies from Scopes to Creation Science. From the description:

In American Genesis, Jeffrey P. Moran explores the ways in which the evolution debate has reverberated beyond the confines of state legislatures and courthouses. Using extensive research in newspapers, periodicals, and archives, Moran shows that social forces such as gender, regionalism, and race have intersected with the debate over evolution in ways that shed light on modern American culture. He investigates, for instance, how antievolutionism deepened the cultural divisions between North and South--northerners embraced evolution as a sign of sectional enlightenment, while southerners defined themselves as the standard bearers of true Christianity. Evolution debates also exposed a deep gulf between conservative Black Christians and secular intellectuals such as W. E. B. DuBois. Moran also explores the ways in which the struggle has played out in the universities, on the internet, and even within the evangelical community. Throughout, he shows that evolution has served as a weapon, as an enforcer of identity, and as a polarizing force both within and without the churches.

This goes along with what I’ve thought for a while – evolutionary theory in the U.S. has been radicalized by people who neither know nor care much about it, except as a convenient way to mark their social villains. I would totally buy the book, except it’s not on Kindle.